In re Guardianship of Madelyn B
Update: The New Hampshire Supreme Court ruled July 2, 2014 that our client Susan B. is a legal parent to the daughter she brought into the world with her now ex-partner Melissa D. Twelve-year-old Madelyn B. now has the opportunity to be reunited with a parent she's known her whole life but hasn't seen in sixteen months.
GLAD and New Hampshire co-counsel Kysa Crusco represented Susan in her effort to establish her legal role as Madelyn's parent after Melissa, Madelyn's birth mother, cut off contact between them.
GLAD is representing a non-birth mother in New Hampshire, S.B., whose ex-partner, M.D., has kept her from seeing their twelve-year-old daughter for over sixteen months. S.B. and M.D. raised their child, M.B., together from her birth in 2002 until age six, and then co-parented her for over five years after they split up. At the time of M.B.‘s birth, the couple could not marry or adopt – both of which would have established S.B.‘s legal parentage. As a result, a guardianship was the only way to establish S.B.‘s legal relationship with their daughter.
Earlier this year, M.D. terminated that guardianship in family court, cut off contact between them, and began proceedings for her new husband to adopt M.B. – essentially attempting to erase S.B. from her daughter’s life. Desperate for help, S.B. contacted GLAD Answers.
With GLAD’s representation, S.B. is doing everything she can legally to see her daughter again – including opposing the termination of the guardianship, filing a petition to establish her parental rights, and seeking to intervene in the adoption proceeding.
S.B.‘s case was argued before the New Hampshire Supreme Court in April, 2014, where she was represented by GLAD attorney Janson Wu and co-counsel Kysa M. Crusco of Crusco Law Office. The Court ruled on July 2, 2014 that S.B. is a legal parent.
In addition to filing our brief on behalf of our client, GLAD coordinated two amicus briefs: a brief filed by 19 family law professors from across the country supporting S.B.’s legal position, and a brief by LGBT and Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) organizations explaining the importance of protecting families created through ART.